China, Pakistan Decide to Extend CPEC Towards Afghanistan

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Kabul (BNA) China and Pakistan have decided to speed up and extend the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor towards Afghanistan during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent visit to Islamabad, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday.
Wang designated as China’s top diplomat as he is also the State-Councilor a higher rank in the Chinese political hierarchy visited Pakistan from 7 to 9 September and held talks with the new government headed by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan.
His visit was mainly aimed at exchanging views with the new government and compare notes with Pakistan on cooperation in all areas, thus making “our bilateral cooperation to get off under the new circumstances”, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media briefing.
“The two sides will advance the CPEC in the light of Pakistan’s economic and social development and people’s needs.  “We will identify the pathways and cooperation for the CPEC, we will accelerate the industrial cooperation and the projects of the people’s livelihoods and extend the CPEC to the western area and make the people gets benefit from it,” Geng said.
While Geng has not elaborated on the extension of the CPEC towards the “west”, Wang in April announced plans to extend it towards Afghanistan during the first trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting.
The new government of Pakistan said it will regard its ties with China as a cornerstone of its foreign policy.  China will regard Pakistan as a priority in the neighborhood diplomacy, he added.

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